Woman Discovers Husband Has Been Pouring Bleach on Her Houseplants — Can Bleach Kill Plants?

"He said he was putting small amounts of bleach into the fertilizer water jugs I prepare."

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Apr. 16 2024, Published 11:57 a.m. ET

Woman grieves dead houseplant
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One woman searching for a reason behind the sudden death of her houseplants made a startling discovery, which she shared on the Relationship Advice subreddit. It seems that @throwra_necessary_22's husband had been behind the demise of her beloved houseplants — and what's worse, he had been conspiring to kill even more of them in the coming days! His weapon of choice? Bleach.

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As if this story wasn't already bad enough, the frustrated and frightened mother discovered that her husband's deranged behaviors had also taken aim at some of their daughter's belongings. She shared her scary story with her fellow Redditors who frantically pleaded with her to get out of her house before she could become her husband's next target.

Continue reading to find else what else her hubby was up to, how she confronted him once she discovered his horrific behaviors, and the scoop on if bleach will kill plants.

Clorox bleach bottles on a shelf
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Will bleach kill plants?

Yes, bleach can kill your plants.

The reason why bleach can be so harmful to plants is because it eventually begins to break down in the soil, turning into salt, which can make it hard for the plants roots to absorb the water needed to survive.

However in small doses, bleach can be used to help keep flowers blooming longer, like when added to a vase holding fresh cut flowers. This is because it helps to limit the growth of bad bacteria, which causes those once beautiful blooms to whither and die. And while a tiny amount of bleach added to the water can be beneficial — the pros at Walden Floral recommend up to 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per liter of water — too much of it will kill your plants.

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Woman waters houseplants with watering can
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A Redditor discovered that her husband had been poisoning her plants with bleach.

As detailed in her Reddit post, when the OP first noticed an unusual number of her houseplants had died off in a short period of time, she didn't think much of it. However, when her prized five-leaf monstera albo died shortly after her birthday, she knew that something was amiss at home. After giving her monstera, which had been a birthday gift from her sister, a quick inspection she discovered the familiar smell of bleach.

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Since it was just herself, her husband, and their young child at home, the OP said she immediately knew who had to behind all of the destruction. Once she was finally calm enough to ask her husband about the bleach, she said he initially denied any wrongdoing, but then quickly came clean. "He said he was putting small amounts of bleach into the fertilizer water jugs I prepare," she explained in her post, adding that he didn't immediately explain or apologize.

Things only got worse as time went on, with the OP's husband finally admitting that he'd done it because he believed she "deserved to be knocked down a peg." Out of concern for herself and her daughter's mental well-being, she decided to enter her husband's office while he was away, where she uncovered even more damning evidence. That's when the OP dropped the biggest bomb of all on everyone, explaining how she'd found a drawer full of her daughters most prized possessions.

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A young woman taking care and watering houseplants by watering can at home
Source: Getty Images

"She takes such good care of her toys, but something always ends up missing and it's always my husband who notices," she wrote. "He lectures her about keeping track of her things and how he won't let her play with her dollhouse if she keeps losing things. He keeps going till she starts to sob." Commentors rallied in the OP's defense, and suggested that she quickly and legally remove herself and her daughter from this dangerous situation.

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"You aren't safe," @cat_o_meter wrote. "Neither is your kid. He's sadistic." Another Redditor pointed out that these were red flags and signs of domestic abuse.

"Abuse is not always physical," @starsofsobek wrote in part. "The key thing here is: none of his beloved things were destroyed; he doesn’t 'have a reason' for destroying your things; he lied until you confronted him with evidence; and it’s been an ongoing issue that has been killing of the things only you enjoy. That’s cruel beyond measure."

The good news is that the OP updated her post one last time, explaining how she had reached out to her family for support and that she's now in the process of filing for divorce. Hopefully both she and her daughter can recover from this traumatizing experience and find a way to heal from this deceit and abuse.

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